Engineering Greater Resilience or Radical Transhuman Enhancement?

Piety and patriotism are complex socio-cultural characteristics that are far removed from what is typically imagined as the kinds of traits that could or should be altered by genetic engineering.1 Yet, this comment by Glover is of interest to this paper for reasons other than its feasibility. It captures one of the central moral concerns that is often discussed in the context of human enhancement, that of the mode through which they would transform the moral values we hold. Thus, rather than our gradually acquiring our sense of morality through a range of cultural interactions and confrontations with philosophical dilemmas, this form of human enhancement implies a generational transition of values that appears to omit the importance of individual scrutiny. As such, it corrupts the evaluative systems that structure societies, by removing the complex relationship between achievements and willed action. If one examines any performative culture, then the implications of this challenge become evident. For example, in the context of musical achievements, the much-discussed prospect of genetically selecting for perfect musical pitch (Robertson 2003), raises a question about how one would regard such abilities, if they were manufactured by science
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DOI 10.2202/1941-6008.1023
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